How Many Mint State Coins Exist?

How many Mint State trade dollars exist today? The answer will never be known with finality. However, by extrapolating the numbers of coins found in auction catalogues (particularly those from 1986 to date; an era of more consistent grading interpretations) and certification service reports, plus entering a measure of opinion, observation of dealers’ inventories, and experience, I have derived the figures given below.

These numbers do not take into consideration any hoards that may be uncovered in the future in the Orient or elsewhere. However, allowance is made for coins presently in foreign collections. I believe that the higher the grade, the closer these estimates are to reality (reality being unknown, as noted).

Most Mint State trade dollars exist in lower levels such as MS-60 through 62. There are exceptions, with 1878-CC being an example; most Mint State 1878-CC coins are in medium to higher Mint State ranges, and there is no particular concentration at the MS-60 to 62 level.

It is relevant to mention that in John M. Willem’s personal reference collection (auctioned by Henry Christensen, Inc., in 1980), the best 1873-CC and the best 1876-CC were AU, but the 1878-CC was Uncirculated.

Buyers seeking to find Mint State trade dollars will be confronted with an unusual situation: relatively few dealers specialize in them, and to many the denomination is virtually unknown and unstudied. This translates into important opportunities for alert buyers, for certain rarities are lower priced than they would otherwise be.

The results of the study are given below:

 

1873

Approximate population MS-66 or better: 4 to 6

MS-65 or better: 10 to 15

MS-64: 40 to 60

MS-63: 40 to 80

MS-60 to 62: 100 to 200

 

 

1873-CC

MS-66 or better: 0 or 1

MS-65 or better: 1 known

MS-64: 3 to 5

MS-63: 10 to 20

MS-60 to 62: 40 to 80

 

 

1873-S

MS-66 or better: 1or 2

MS-65 or better: 4 to 8

MS-64: 25 to 50

MS-63: 30 to 50

MS-60 to 62: 75 to 150

 

 

1874

MS-66 or better: 1 or 2

MS-65 or better: 6 to 10

MS-64: 40 to 60

MS-63: 40 to 80

MS-60 to 62: 100 to 200

 

 

1874-CC

MS-66 or better: 1 or 2

MS-65 or better: 4 to 8

MS-64: 15 to 30

MS-63: 60 to 100

MS-60 to 62: 150 to 250

 

 

1874-S

MS-66 or better: 0 or 1

MS-65 or better: 3 or 4

MS-64: 20 to 40

MS-63: 50 to 100

MS-60 to 62: 400 to 800+

 

 

1875

MS-66 or better: 4 to 6

MS-65 or better: 10 to 20

MS-64: 25 to 50

MS-63: 30 to 50

MS-60 to 62: 50 to 100

 

 

1875-CC

MS-66 or better: 1 or 2

MS-65 or better: 4 to 8

MS-64: 15 to 30

MS-63: 75 to 125

MS-60 to 62: 200 to 400

 

 

1875-S

MS-66 or better: 10 to 15+

MS-65 or better: 75 to 150+

MS-64: 200 to 400+

MS-63: 500 to 1,000+

MS-60 to 62: 1,500 to 3,000+

 

 

1875-S/CC

MS-66 or better: 0 or 1

MS-65 or better: 2 or 3

MS-64: 4 to 7

MS-63: 10 to 20

MS-60 to 62: 40 to 80

 

 

1876

MS-66 or better: 8 to 10+

MS-65 or better: 40 to 60

MS-64: 150 to 300

MS-63: 200 to 400

MS-60 to 62: 700 to 1,200

 

 

1876-CC

MS-66 or better: 0 or 1

MS-65 or better: 1 known

MS-64: 3 to 5

MS-63: 10 to 20

MS-60 to 62: 40 to 80

 

 

1876-S

MS-66 or better: 1 or 2

MS-65 or better: 30 to 40+

MS-64: 100 to 200+

MS-63: 175 to 300+

MS-60 to 62: 900 to 1,800+

 

 

1877

MS-66 or better: 1 or 2

MS-65 or better: 4 to 8

MS-64: 60 to 120+

MS-63: 125 to 200+

MS-60 to 62: 450 to 900+

 

 

1877-CC

MS-66 or better: 1 or 2

MS-65 or better: 2 or 3

MS-64: 8 to 12

MS-63: 20 to 30

MS-60 to 62: 50 to 100

 

 

1877-S

MS-66 or better: 10 to 15+

MS-65 or better: 50 to 100+

MS-64: 170 to 325+

MS-63: 300 to 600+

MS-60 to 62: 1,750 to 3,500+

 

 

1878-CC

MS-66 or better: 1 or 2

MS-65 or better: 3 or 4

MS-64: 8 to 12

MS-63: 15 to 25

MS-60 to 62: 30 to 60

 

 

1878-S

MS-66 or better: 20 to 30+

MS-65 or better: 70 to 140+

MS-64: 175 to 350+

MS-63: 200 to 400+

MS-60 to 62: 1,000 to 2,000+